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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  February 20, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EST

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chelet a great attraction in sochi, but now it is out of cheese, as the truck delivering the cheese went missing on the border. thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters in new york. "inside story" is next. conflicts between police and protesters in ukraine were peaceful early on, and now turned violent. people, protests, and power. that's the inside story. ♪ hello, i'm ray suarez. the world has been watching the
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center of ukraine's capitol in kiev since november, when growing protests made the go's decision to pitch the country toward's moscow, rather than the beckoning european union. for a time it looked like the confrontation might be de-escalating, there were talks and even some changing in the government demanded by the opposition. there has been sporadic violence all along, but there came a point where it looked like the government was unwilling to pull the trigger, unwilling to unlaesh the power at its disposal to restore order to the city. then came this week, and the escalation from both sides that lead to more than two dozen deaths. it's hard to know where things go from here. a ring of fire is burning
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against in the kiev tonight. protesters using the blazing barricades to protect themselves from government forces. the standoff began three months ago, and reached a deadly peak tuesday. clashes left at least 25 people dead with victims on both sides. 240 people were injured. >> translator: even i am ready to go on the front line, but as i'm a woman, protesters won't allow me to get there. i'm staying here for the truth, for ukraine. i lost my voice in the smoke, but i'm not scared. and people who stay here don't have fear. >> independence square is the epicenter of this political standoff, but it has spread around the country. the opposition wants the president out, and is calling for new parliamentary elections. the split inside the opposition seems to be igniting violence.
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some factions have clearly been radicalized, and the situation has escalated, a peaceful solution now appears out of reach. >> translator: i have been calling for dialogue since the very beginning of today's confrontation. as i don't support forceful variance or blood shred. >> i'm very unhappy because there was no discussion, and they don't want to listen opposition. they don't want to listen in just one way, it's opposition -- and all protests have to stop protests have to stop the demonstration. >> the president blamed the protesters for violence, saying the opposition crossed the line when it called people to arms. the protesters responded the government wasn't keeping its
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promises of change. the crisis is both political and economic, and the country is caught in a tug of war. the protests began when the government rejected aid from the eu in favor of economic health from russia. the russian president reportedly called the president and expressed support for a swift settlement. the russian's spokesman said it's up to ukraine's go to resolve this without external interference. president obama on the road in mexico endorsed the peaceful outcome in kiev, and one that reflects the will of the people. >> i want to be very clear that as we work through these next several days in ukraine that we will be watching very carefully, and we expect the ukrainian
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government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters. we have said we also expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful. >> the german chancellor and french president also condemned the violence. the confrontation seemed to be nearing an end. sessions were made, and amnesty to protesters were agreed to before flames lit up the night tuesday. as the fires continue to burn in kiev tonight, the question is whether the violent forces inside the protest government and the government's crackdown have changed the dynamics so much that more fighting will replace talking before it's over. as it turns out it is quieter in
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independence square tonight. in the last hour, word has come from kiev that the warring sides have agreed to a trust; that the government of viktor yanukovych has agreed to negotiations with his opponents. this time on the program the violence in ukraine and more broodly, the fate of people's movements, when does popular resistance work and when does it fail? that's the inside story. joining us now, the founding fair of the international center on non-violent conflict, the deputy director of human rights watch. and director of the princeton
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institute for international studies. it may seem a little shallow, but in the good nows, bad news binary world if 25 people died last night, announcing a trust tonight can't be anything but good news, can it? >> well, obviously it is good news that there is a truce tonight. there is not the first time that there has been a truce. the first time that violent open conflict broke out in kiev back in january, things got very bad and there were -- there was exchange of fire of rubber bullets on one side, and molotov cocktails and bricks on the other side that also ended in a truce. i think this is a time for the international community, to immediately deploy a panel of independent human rights
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investigators who can establish the facts of what violations were committed, by which side to the confrontation, and really urge the government to start a process of accountability. that's what has been missing all along. that's what actually triggered the protest movement from being a -- sort of a movement for european integration to -- you know, to a movement that became one of let's get yanukovych out of here. it is because on november 30th there was really horrible police violence to break up a small but very, very peaceful protest on independence square. and after that violence, people started coming out in huge numbers. so accountability, investigation of human rights violations, and accountability is extremely important right now. >> i'm wondering if it is even possible to know for sure what
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happened over the last three months. there were rumors of false flag groups, people who mingled with the protesters who actually belonged to the government people who were from radical movements who came to be agitators on the square. that call for an investigation is interesting to me, because i'm wondering if the facts could ever finally be known? >> i think that the facts can be known, but i think it requires a protracted, detailed, thorough, and impartial investigation of who did what to who and when. there have been -- you know, this is a very -- the -- the protest movement is actually many different movements. there are some who have come out because they are true believers in european union, or those who
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just want to see yanukovych out, and the majority of them have been quite peaceful, and as time wore on there have been people who -- i saw them with my own eyes, we can't deny it, who have attached to the street movement, attached to the street movement but who are actually street fighters. they come through with molotov cocktails and bricks. and they have pitch forks and make catapults and improvised weapons to fight the police who have been armed with rubber bullets, stun grenades, which they have retrofitted to make them much more lethal and water cannons and the like. in addition, though to the kind of open -- the street
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fighters -- the anti-government street fighters on the one side, and the police on the other side, you also have, as you said, we can't rule out that there are provocatures who were in the streets since this got started perhaps, but on the other side we have had consistent reports of pro-government thugs who have gone around, not only in kiev but in other parts of ukraine to beat anti-government protesters, threaten them, torch their cars -- >> let me jump in there, rachel, because i want to give the others a chance to comment on these new developments. >> uh-huh. >> peter akerman, can this terrible last 48 hours that now
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results in a truce but the beginning of something that ends in a durable situation. or is this situation so complicated and deeply divided that this is just almost a skirmish in what is bound to be a much longer conflict. >> i would say everything i have heard confirms what the last speaker described. but in terms of the conflicts we have looked at over the years, there is nothing exceptionally complex or violent about this, and the people that are there are there to be nurtured and fulfills. for example, there has to be agreement between the opposition in terms of goals and leaders. is this about eu integration or throwing yanukovych out?
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there needs to be a commit to non-violent discipline, so those that don't stick to it are outside of the range of what the opposition is, and it basically help uncover the thugs that the speaker was referring to. these movements have to maintain large scale civil yap participation. it can't just be protests in limited places. there have to be strikes and elements that are very different than just in a small place. this woman announced she didn't be up there because she is a woman. there were women in children in the orange revolution because of the other factors i described that were in place. so choices have to be made that certainly can create an outcome that is satisfactory to the
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opposition. >> you just heard peter talking about the opposition agreeing on some basic principles, can this group agree on a couple of motivating basic principles that they go into this conflict with from here on out? >> you know, it's not clear that the opposition has control over its own forces, so the opposition is so diverse and includes people running from liberals all the way to extremist nationalists, almost neo-naziists, and those that as rachel said are street thugs, so it's hard to know if they can control its own forces. so that's certainly one of the conditions to look at as this develops. the other one is the extent to which the opposition willing to
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assume some kind of compromised solution. now they were offered earlier a place in the ukrainian government, and they rejected that. and maybe that would have been a better solution at that point in time, although it's hard to imagine anybody really fitting in with the kind of criminalized type of rule that the yanukovych regime has pursued. so, you know, part of the question also is even if the opposition does exceed to come kind of agreement what are the prospects of that holding up in the long return. >> we're going to take a short back and when we come back we'll talk more about the situation in ukraine where a truce has just been called, and we'll look at power movements in other places in the world, and ask is this a
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model that really works?
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so many money stories sound complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down the confusing financial speak and make it real. welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. the political unrest in ukraine took a sudden deadly turn this week, and the unrest is not just in the capitol. just a few minutes before our program began, there was word of a truce. the president met with opposition leaders, and peter akerman, ukraine is just one
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country on a long list where huge numbers of people have joined in the streets to push back against the go, egypt, iran, thailand, burma, all have had power movements very recently with a very mixed set of outcomes. what are some of the things to look for as you look at these other countries and also ukraine. >> the fundamental theory of non-violent conflicts is that large scale civilian participation, if it remains non-violent, enhances disruption. it has to remain non-violent. it has to maintain high levels of civilian participation, so
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there needs to be diversity beyond just protests. there are two kinds of tactics. tactics of commission, where the other side wants you to stop doing something, and tactics of omission, where you stop doing something they want you to do like a boycott or strike. each invites a different kind of member of the population who are willing to do certain things but not others. there has been a study just completed that one 2011 woodrow wilson award winner, and it was called why civilian resistance works, and looked at 323 insurrections from 1900 to 2006. and what they discovered is based on the actual goals, the success rate on the violent
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surrecollections was 29%, on non-violent, was 47% of the time. so when we see this 47% manifested in ukraine or the disappointment in egypt and certainly syria, we say, well, this can never work, but the starry is far more come flex than that. >> rachel denver how important is it to have identifiable leaders that not only are well recognized inside the country, but can speak to the outside of the country too, we just saw on our report earlier, the famous boxer who is a member of the chamber in the ukraine's government, and a face that is known in the rest of the world, does that help, is it important, or just an incidental to this wider story? >> well, i kind of have to defer
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to professor akerman on these issues, but i believe that leadership is extremely important in ensuring that -- that movements stay unified and that they carry a -- that they stick to an agenda, and particularly, i think if you want a movement to stay peaceful, i think that leadership is absolutely crucial, otherwise what -- i think that when you have leaders who are actually afraid of losing their lidge - -- legitimacy, vis-a-vis the crowd, because they demand people to lay down their arms or create a core donned let police pass, i think that happens.
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we saw that in the previous violent standoff in mid-january when klitschko went out to the -- basically the armed crowd to say, look, you know, let's -- let's find a solution here, they -- they -- they booed him. they hissed him and sprayed water at him. so i think credible leadership is extremely important. >> professor we'll come back to you after the break and talk more about the current prospects in ukraine. short break. stay with us. this is "inside story." ♪
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al jazeera america. >> welcome back to inside story. i'm ray suarez. welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. you are looking live at the fires still berning in kiev. it has been a quieter night, and
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there is word of a truce hammered out after opposition leaders met with the president. professor when you heard about the conditions on the ground that peter ackerman was talking about, about the role of leaders in the ukraine, are there the necessary preconditions for this not to end the way it has in the last two cycles? >> well, it may end temporarily that way, but i see ukraine's crisis as something that is reoccurring and not likely to go away, even if this particular episode is settled. i think right now the country seems to be on the brink, or has been on the brink of civil war because parts of the opposition have seized power in certain places. the regime was mobilizing its force in order to take back the
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area. and i think the reason why it backed off is that t military balked, and so yanukovych fired his minister of defense, but realized he didn't have the power to really crush this movement, so we're kind of at a stalemate at this point in time. and i don't see the leadership being united enough to overcome its differences in the long run, and i really think there is an issue about what happens to the extremists. they are mobilized, you know, some have -- have arms potentially, and so we just don't know what is going to happen, and then there is the issue of how does an opposition get along with such a regime in the long run. so i guess i'm less sangwin in
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the long run. >> we did a report on the central african republic, and many more people have died there, yet the world is not paying attention. does having the world stage -- we were able to take live pictures just now, does that put an x-factor into the calculus of how these things turn out? >> it is much less important than you would think. it might be satisfying to be able to report on these things, but the dynamic created by the parties in conflict are more important. external parties can be used very usefully, for example, in south africa, you had an economic boycott that was very successful, coordinated by the anti-apartheid movement with companies outside that would not participate. but in some cases it just is not that relevant. it's all case by case.
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here it would seem that the eu could do a better job competing versus what putin is offering, but many dissidents come to us and say all we need is the world to pay attention and we'll be fine, and we try to explain that, no, that is not going to be enough. you have to develop a movement that has its internal coherence and the external factors will come into play externally. but there is nothing the outside can do to create a coherence -- it is an internally driven movement. >> isn't it part of the calculus that the world watches as peaceful people sometimes provoke the violence of others. yes, there's internal logic, but
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you need the world to see that as well, if you are going to persist with peaceful resistance. >> the world was watching very carefully with what happened during the green movement. >> in iran you are talking about? this >> in iran, yeah. and that didn't matter. what mattered was the movement didn't coagulate around a specific set of goals, it was just protests, more protests, more protests, and over time the military became more adept at handling those protests. >> thank you all for joining me today, and that brings us to the end of this edition of "inside story." thanks for being with us. in washington, i'm ray suarez. ♪
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welcome to al jazeera america, i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. chaos in ukraine, dozens killed today and the interior ministry saying more than 50 police were captured by protesters. al jazeera journalists hauled before a court in egypt after being detained for 54 days. and the emotional family reunions in north korea, many of them 60 years in the making. ♪
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